Atlanta, May 25-28

As usual, the CING North America annual meeting, this year in Atlanta, got off to a flying start with Club Emil on Thursday, May 25th. This year, we had the pleasure of being invited to the home of Chalmers alumnus, Lennart Thörnquist and his wife, Shannon, who had arranged a lovely get-together. The peasoup was delicious as were the pancakes and a great deal of singing and storysharing brought the sound level to unprecedented heights! Thanks Lennart and Shannon for an unforgettable evening in your lovely home!

Friday was a day full of activities and sharp contrasts! We started out with breakfast together at the hotel after which we all found a spot in a car to go for a visit to Thomas Concrete, founded in Sweden in 1955 by Martin Thomas, and now one of the leading suppliers of high quality ready-mixed concrete in the Southeast region of the US. We were treated to a tour of the facilities, as well as an inspiring presentation of the company followed by lunch. Fredrik Höglund, Chalmers alumnus and part of the management team at the plant, had done a very good job putting together an interesting program, there’s definitely more to concrete than meets the eye! As if this wasn’t enough, we then went on to get a presentation and tour of Elekta, another high-tech company founded by a Swede, Lars Leksell, in 1972. Elekta is mostly known for the Gamma-knife, invented by Lars Leksell, which enables less invasive brain surgery by allowing surgeons to treat tumours without opening up the scull – quite exciting if you ask me!

During the visit at Elekta, we took the opportunity to award this year’s U.S. Friends of Chalmers Scholarship. The happy awardee, Rebecca Gillie, who just finished her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Rochester, received the diploma from the hands of President and CEO of Chalmers, Stefan Bengtsson and Chairman of U.S. Friends, Arne Dunhem. She is now getting ready to start her Master’s studies in Sound and Vibration this fall. We all wish her the best of luck and hope she will have a wonderful time at Chalmers!!

Saturday was a day of exploration! Many of us went down-town for an architectural walk in the footsteps of John Portman, the architect who has designed many of the landmark buildings in down-town Atlanta. Some of us tried to get a tour of the CNN headquarters but the line was just too long so we had to pass in order to get ready for the upcoming gasque.

Saturday night was set aside for some further festivities! This time, the traditional gasque, which was held at the beautiful home of another Chalmers alumnus, Göran Rygert and his wife Jan. It was a lovely night in a beautiful, outdoors setting and once again, we had to clear our throats and get into singing mode. The local chef had done a fantastic job and not only did we get to enjoy the typical Swedish delicacies; herring, salmon and all sorts of different cheeses, but there was plenty of hot food to go around as well as the traditional princess cake for dessert – no need for anyone to go to bed hungry!

Sunday marked the last day of the official program! The board of CING North America held their annual meeting, where, among other things, next year’s location for the annual get-together was discussed – stay tuned for more information on this. If it’s anything like this year, you don’t want to miss out! As always, it was sad to say good bye to all the wonderful people, it really is a treat to meet so many Chalmers alumni, many of whom have travelled long distances, to meet with old Chalmers friends and remember good old times – all ages are represented and everyone is welcomed with open arms (even a non-Chalmerist like myself). Personally, I want to send a big THANK YOU, to all of those who were involved in planning and arranging; dinners, visits and all sorts of fun, I hope to see you again next year! ‘Til then, take care and – AVANCEZ

-Birgitta Rorsman
Chalmers, Gothenburg